Monday, October 20, 2014

The Ice Theatre of New York's Ice: Dance 2014 Captivates

Erin Reed executing a layback spin in O Mio Babbino Caro
Entering their 2014 home season, The Ice Theatre of New York's performing troop of premier skaters thrilled the audience with variety, beauty and complexity for the Benefit Performance on Friday, October 17 th. Here are some of the program highlights.

The performance opened with Reveries which I so enjoyed last season as well. Set to Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite #3 in G Major, the choreography made you feel as if you were watching modern ballet being performed on ice. The flowing texture and ice blue of the costumes made them almost disappear into the background. Beautifully choreographed by Edward Villella, you can see the joy and exuberance on the skaters' faces.

Reveries opened the benefit performance
Next principal skater Ryan Bradley did a solo performance of Fragile (music by Sting) which was anything but. Full of fabulous high kicks, jumps and spins, it fully showcased his talents as a championship skater. His outfit was perfect for the music and choreography with both being created for him by choreographer Douglas Webster.

Ryan's long,straight lines are accentuated by the clean lines of his costume.
Show Stopper: Back Bay Shuffle

This was a newly choreographed premier number for 2014 and WOW did this ever get the audience going! Set to the Big Band era music of clarinet player and orchestra leader Artie Shaw it reminisced of those days when men dressed to the nines for a night on the town. The Back Bay Shuffle was originally released in 1938...over 76 years ago but is still "poppin'" and perfect for this number.  Full of very technical moves, Brent Bommentre, Ryan Bradley and Joel Dear made it look like they were having the time of their lives. A polished performance with a bit of bravado and a lot of humor. Loved it!  Brilliantly choreographed by Edward Villella.

Jazz Hands! Back Bay Shuffle
This stellar evening was made even more complete with the inclusion of Roots which premiered last season for Ice:Dance 2013. Touching and tender, exuberant and joyful the choreography spans all the colors of the human spirit. It not only underscores it, it celebrates it. Infused with antebellum spirituals and hymns, it is a breath of fresh Appalachian Mountain air.   I sat through it again, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Absolutely inspiring composition and performance choreographed by the inimitable Douglas Webster. 

Roots - Choreographed by Douglas Webster
This 2014 Ice Theatre Benefit Performance was in honor of Dr. Tenley Albright, the FIRST American woman skater to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Dr. Albright's daughter, Elin Gardiner Schran skated a lovely tribute to her mother in a piece called "Gratitude". With music by Anatole Fistoular and Jacques Offenbach, it was tender and loving. Tenley told me after the performance that it was all she could do to hold it together. I doubt if there was a dry eye in the house when Elin reached out her arms to her mother at the end of her performance. This is really what skating is all about. The gift of joy from one generation to the next. Please visit The Ice Theatre of New York online and support their community outreach and mentoring programs for inner city children. Also be sure to catch their local upcoming seasonal shows.

Dr. Tenely Albright (center) with Dick Button and daughter Elin on the far right end.
Cocktails and Dinner at the Lighthouse
After the performance and photos on the red carpet, we all retired to the Lighthouse Restaurant for the reception. We were greeted with flowers for our hair in honor of Tenley's love of this romantic accessory!

Tenley & Dick are the first American skaters to win Olympic Gold.
Hey, we're wearing the same color flower!

L-R Gina Miczak, Emily Hughes, Tenley Albright, Me
 PHOTO: Ellen Halpern- Halpern Photography & Video
Artistic Director, Douglas Webster saying a few words
The unstoppable Sarah Hughes!

Our Jewelry c/o Sublime Beauty
My Dress by Designer Nora Gardner, NYC
Our Hair and Makeup by Christo Fifth Avenue, NYC

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